The Downtown Dallas Merchants Association was developed 12 years ago in an effort to attract people to the shops and restaurants of the downtown area just north of U.S. Hwy. 278 in central Paulding County.
“Our town is so charming and attractive,” said Tina Howell, who co-owns the downtown antique store Somewhere In Time with her husband Bobby. “You can’t find anything remotely close to the caliber of businesses and merchants we have here in Dallas.”
She said it’s surprising how little known the downtown area is.
“It’s amazing to me how many times a week people say, ‘I never knew you were here.’ People who live right here in Paulding County have said that,” Howell said.
So she struck out to form the association, which is comprised of about 15 downtown businesses, to host several events throughout the year to bring people to the area.
Two events have occurred annually since the association’s inception — a citywide yard sale and a live Nativity during the holiday season.
Now the association is kicking off its new Food Truck Fridays event which will take place monthly, the first of which is scheduled for Aug. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. downtown.
Four food trucks and three food tents will be on site to offer attendees a wide variety of food, from pizza and cupcakes to barbecue and Puerto Rican cuisine.
Howell said the goal for the first Food Truck Friday was to keep it relatively small. When the word first got out the association was interested in hosting such an event, the phone was ringing off the hook with vendors interested in bring their trucks.
“We want to grow it slowly so we make sure the food trucks make enough profit that they want to come back month after month,” she said.
Local talent will be on hand to provide live entertainment for the event. A “slip n’ slide” and an inflatable will be set up for the children’s entertainment, as well as a puppet show.
The response to the event already has been positive and Howell said Dallas City Council has been very supportive of the association’s efforts.
Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring cash for the food trucks and lawn chairs to enjoy the entertainment.
For more information, Howell can be reached at (770) 445-7555. The association's web site is www.dallasgeorgiama.com.